Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Marotta: Conte mastermind of Juve title triumph

SoccerNews in Serie A 4 May 2014


Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta hailed coach Antonio Conte after the club’s third consecutive Serie A title was confirmed.

Conte’s men won their 30th Italian title on Sunday without kicking a ball as second-placed Roma succumbed to a shock 4-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Catania.

Juve, who lead Roma by eight points, would have clinched the title with victory over Atalanta on Monday had Roma won in Sicily.

But the visit of Stefano Colantuono’s men will now be little more than a celebration party, and Marotta was quick to highlight Conte’s contribution to Juve’s success.

“Conte drilled this mentality into the squad from the first day he arrived, so much of the credit for this Scudetto goes to him, as it’s an historic occasion,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italia.

“It is a victory for everyone, even the invisible team that works in the background. It is a hugely important achievement.

“We knew from the start it would be tough between European competition and Serie A. We were really hungry and motivated to secure this title.”

Marotta also addressed the issue of Conte’s contract, which expires at the end of next season, revealing that discussions over an extension will resume in the near future.

“We’ll have an opportunity to see each other calmly next week,” Marotta added.

“I consider Conte among the best coaches in the world, both for his football strategy and the way he motivates the group. He is precious for Juventus and we are holding on tight.”

Meanwhile, goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon earmarked March’s last-gasp 1-0 win at Genoa as a pivotal moment in the title fight, and praised Roma for keeping the race alive until the closing weeks of the campaign.

“We had gone through so many scares in that game and Genoa probably deserved more,” Buffon said. “But we managed to bring out that Andrea Pirlo free-kick from nowhere that gave us confidence.

“We knew that we could push forward and put our hands on the Scudetto.

“In general, all of Italian football should thank Roma for the way they played this season and kept the title race alive. On many occasions this term they truly impressed me.

“We weren’t certain we could achieve our targets because they were so strong and confident that it frightened us, so I think the credit goes to them for pushing everyone harder.”


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